Here are the interim results for the Turing Pi 2 mini ITX case.
At first, we wanted to find an OEM manufacturer and use their chassis frame to simply redesign the internal and external elements of the case. But later we abandoned this idea in favor of our own design.
This resulted in the entire design starting from the frame to the styling elements. We decided to use Small Form Factor (SFF) to house a mini ITX board with 4x CPU modules, 2x 2.5″ SSD and 4x NVME disks with easy access to all modules and disks including an SD card slot for BMC.
The mini ITX case can be installed vertically or horizontally. The enclosures can be stacked on top of each other or vertically side by side with a 5mm gap between them.
The mini ITX case is designed for consumer/commercial grade applications. This means that temperature, humidity, high noise/vibration levels, and other environmental conditions outside of this grade are not expected for this case.
To get the frame of the mini ITX case right, we started with heat dissipation calculations. First we did the calculation for mixed configurations with 1x Nvidia Jetson Orin NX 16GB and 3x Raspberry Pi CM4/Turing RK1. But in the end we calculated for the 4x Nvidia Jetson Orin NX 16GB modules at the moment. As a result, the final configuration allows you to place the most powerful modules without fans. A single case fan is sufficient.
Below are the calculated cooling configurations for the entire system at 79°F (26°C) ambient.
Without case fan
Heat is dissipated by natural convection. The air temperature inside the the mini ITX case reaches 275°F (135°C). No bueno. Hot air accumulates inside the case, putting additional thermal stress on components.
With case fan, without optimisation
Fan specs used in the calculation:
Fan size: 60x60x20mm
Speed: up to 5000 rpm
Airflow: 28.05 CFM
Noise: 35.8 dBA
Without optimizing the position of the board and the side holes. The temperature of the air space inside the the mini ITX case reaches up to 158°F (70°C)
With case fan and optimisation
By optimizing the board position and adding side holes. The temperature of the air space inside the case reaches 144°F (62°C). The airflow generated by the fan is more efficient because there is no additional resistance from the internal wires: 0.005783 kg/s vs. 0.005997 kg/s.
With the mini ITX case fan over the computing modules
After a while we started to think about putting a fan over the modules. The first idea was to use a 140×140 fan. But later calculations showed that 120×120 would be sufficient with a reserve for the future.
Fan specs used in the calculation:
Fan size: 120x120x15mm
Bearing: Fluid Dynamic Bearing
Speed: up to 2100 rpm
Airflow: 42.1 CFM
Noise: 10.64 dBA
The maximum temperature inside the case is 113°F (45°C). If the cases are stacked, a gap of at least 5 mm between the cases is sufficient.
When designing the exterior, we considered practicality without colorful design elements. The device acts as a compact server for computing without constant user contact with the case and its elements, an example of a NAS device.
In the end, we came up with this design. It will be refined gradually.
We are planning to release production ready design by August. We will keep you posted on the progress.
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